Time is running out to halt the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus and millions of lives are at stake, according to a statement from Plan International’s Head of Disaster Preparedness and Response, Unni Krishnan.
The outbreak has been declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organisation, with 960 people killed so far in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
Seven more countries in West Africa are on alert.
“Communities in West Africa have witnessed horrific scenes of infected people dying with symptoms of severe bleeding. Suspected case or cases under medical care are now in Africa, Europe and North America,” says Dr Krishnan.
“Time is running out fast, millions of lives are at stake and the world needs to act now. Investing in public health systems and disaster preparedness measures is the best way to invent the future trajectory of the Ebola outbreak,” he says.
“We are in a situation where the deadly outbreak is threatening to kill more people in West Africa and beyond. What is needed now is not a speculative prediction, but collective global action to invent Ebola’s future. This is a decisive moment in the battle against Ebola,” Dr Krishnan adds.
Dr Krishnan is managing Plan International’s response to the Ebola crisis. Plan is responding to the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and has intensified its preparedness and response efforts across the region.
Plan has dedicated 70 staff for frontline support across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The organisation is complementing local governments’ efforts, particularly in the area of public health information and providing material support to contain the spread of the disease.
Relevant photos are available here: http://bit.ly/planebola. Please credit ‘Plan International Australia’.
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 75 years ago, working in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious or political affiliations.
Plan has been working in Sierra Leone since 1976, Liberia since 1982 and Guinea since 1989, helping poor children access their rights to education, health, sanitation and protection. The organisation sponsors 53,250 children spread over 1,367 communities across the three countries.
Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International in Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945